Ape

Ape

קוֹŠ, koph), an animal of the monkey tribe mentioned in 1Ki 10:22, and in the parallel passage in 2Ch 9:21, among the merchandise brought by the fleets of Solomon and Hiram once in every three years. The Sept. renders the word by πίθηκος, which is equivalent to the Latin simia. The Greeks have the word κῆβος or κῆπος, for a longtailed species of monkey (Aristot. Hist. Anim. 2, 8, 9), and Pliny (8, 19, 28) uses cephus. Both Greeks and Hebrews received the word, with the animal, from India, for the ape, both in Sansc. and Malabar, is called kapi=swift, active. Hence also the German Affe, the Anglo-Saxon apa, and the English ape. The name, under these modifications, designates the Simiadae, including, no doubt, species of Cercopithecus, Macacus, and Cynocephalus, or Guenons, apes and baboons; that is, all the aninals of the quadrumanous order known to the Hebrews, Arabs, Egyptians, and the classical writers. Accordingly, we find Pliny and Solinus speaking of Ethiopian Cephi exhibited at Rome; and in the upper part of the celebrated Praenestine mosaic representing the inundation of the Nile (see Shaw's Travels, p. 423, 2d ed. 4to) figures of Simiads occur in the region which indicates Nubia; among others, one in a tree, with the name ΚΗΙΠΕΝ beside it, which may be taken for a Cercopithecus of the Guenon group. But in the triumphal procession of Thothmes III at Thebes nations from the interior of Africa, probably from Nubia, bear curiosities and tributes, among which the camelopardalis or giraffe and six quadrumana may be observed. The Cephs of Ethiopia are described and figured in Ludolfi Historia Ethiopica, 1, 10, § 52-64. They are represented as tailless animals, climbing rocks, eating worms and ants, and protecting themselves from the attack of lions by casting sand into their eyes. Apes also occur in the lately discovered Assyrian sculptures, both in bas-reliefs on slabs (Layard, Nineveh, 1, 118), and of various species on an obelisk at Nimroud (ib. 2, 330). The Koph of Scripture, named only twice (1Ki 10:22; 2Ch 9:21), is in both cases, associated with תּוֹכַיַּים, tokiyim, rendered "peacocks." The fleet of Solomen is said to have brought these two kinds of animals from Ophir. Now neither peacocks nor pheasants are indigenous in Africa; they belong to India and the mountains of high Asia, and therefore the version. "peacocks," if correct, would decide, without doubt, not only that koph denotes none of the Simiadae above noticed, but also that the fleet of Tarshish visited India or the Australasian islands. For these reasons we conclude that the Hebrew koph, and names of same root, were, by the nations in question, used generically in some instances and specifically in others, though the species were not thereby defined, nor on that account identical. For the natural history of the ape family, see the Penny Cyclopcedia, s.v. For some attempts to identify the various kinds of quadrumana which were known to the ancients, see Lichtenstein's Commentatio philologica de Simiarum quotquot veteribus innotuerunt formis (Hamb. 1791), and Tyson's Homo sylvestris, or the Anatomy of a Pigmie (Lond. 1699), to which he has added a philosophical essay concerning the Cynocephali, the Satyrs, and Sphinges of the ancients. Aristotle (De Anim. Hist. 2, 5, ed. Schneider) appears to divide the quadrumana order of mammalia into three tribes, which he characterizes by the names πίθηκοι, κῆβοι, and κυνοκέφαλοι. The ancients were acquainted with several kinds of tailed and tailless apes (Plin. Hist. Nat. 8, 80; 11:100; Elian, Anim. 17, 25), and obtained them from Ethiopia (Plin. ut sup.) and India (Ctes. in Phot. Cod. 72, p. 66; Arrian, Ind. 15; AElian- Anim. 17, 25, 39; Philostr. Apoll. 3, 4), but in Mauritania they were domesticated (Strabo, 17:827), as now in Arabia Felix (Niebuhr, Bed. p. 167).

Some species of baboon may be denoted by the term שֵׁדַים, shedim', or daemons ("devils") in De 32:17; Ps 106:37; and perhaps by the שׂעַירַים, seirim', or hairy ones (goats, "satyrs"' of the desert (Isa 13:21; Isa 34:14), since these animals (see Rich's Babylon, p. 30) are still found in the ruins of the Mesopotamian plains, under the name Seir Assad (see generally Bochart, Hieroz. 2, 898 sq.). It is some confirmation of this last interpretation that the Egyptians are said to have worshipped apes, and they are still adored in many places in India. SEE SATYR.

Bible concordance for APE.

Definition of ape

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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